In my kitchen – Royal icing
Believe me or not, but just one year ago, I had no idea what royal icing is! Impossible? When i needed some icing I just used powdered sugar and water. All variations were results of using lemon juice or alcohol instead od water. Just it! When I first found this royal icing, I had to firstly discover what was this mysterious meringue powder. And what is it? – you ask. Trivial, it is pasteurized egg white. Just it! All the mystery gone 🙂 And why everyone use it instead of normal egg white? To remove the risk of salmonella.
But how do I get it???
Oh right, so I just mix meringue powder with sugar and water and I get royal icing. It’s that easy isn’t it? I can revel, like everyone else and take out artistically? Yeaaaah… But only theoretically 🙂 But when it comes down to it, it’s starts getting harder and harder… Because what I get after I mixed my ingredients is stiff and I have no idea how it’s supposed to change into phenomenal pastries. I read again and explore the topic. And eureka! Key is the consistence! RIGHT consistence 🙂 But how do I get it??? Of course by adding from few to several drops of water – thats the theory. In practice, consitence can differ, but it can ussualy be divided into 3 categories: flood, stiff, and something in between the two called outline. Of course at the beggining my flood was always running off my cookies, and the stiff coulnd’t be even squeezed out of piping bag. Right now, I’m just laughing, but believe me. Back then I was screaming or even raging because of it. Or maybe different… because the truth is: you are not going to learn unless you practice. Only practice, practice and practice! So I practicesed restlessly and I concluded that I have to standarize icing consistence! If I want the quality the same, each time, I have to stop making it by the method of thumb, or I will go crazy! I have to tell you that back then my royal icing was like a swing, once at the top (awsome!) or in the black hole (complete disaster)… So I started counting. Firstly up to 10. And no, not to not go crazy, but to get he flood. Why? So I can smoothly cover my shortbreads. How do I check? Royal icing mixed in the bowl will stabilize after 10 seconds. If it happen faster, it will certainly be too thin and may run off from my cookies. If it take longer than 10 second it will be thick. What do you do then? If you need flood you adulterate by adding water. If it is too thin you have to add thick royal icing from the basic recipe. In my opinion it is most commonly used royal icing consistence.
Experience will come with time. I admire other people’s work and I seek perfection. I can point out my mistakes. However I still can’t fully avoid them :(. but there is definitely less of them. I know, that everyone started one day, and had to go trough the same process I did, but right now my knowledge and skills are at that level when I often hear: sooo cute, awesome, incredible… and this give me power.